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Colbert’s re-invention of “Truthiness” is similar to O’Reilly’s of “Pinhead”. Both unknowingly re-invented a word used previously. However, do the re-inventions differ in that O’Reilly re-created Pinhead with the original meaning but Colbert re-created with his own meaning or version of it? Was Truthiness (re) born with Colbert its father or is it just another derivative of Truth or Truthy? That’s a question for HotForWords.
This question is a hot button or issue for Colbert. Excerpting from Reference.com (http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/Truthiness):
“Colbert came up with the word truthiness just moments before taping the premiere episode of The Colbert Report on October 17 2005, after deciding that the originally scripted wordâ€””truth”â€”was not ridiculous enough. “We’re not talking about truth, we’re talking about something that seems like truthâ€”the truth we want to exist,” he explained. ”
“The Oxford English Dictionary has a definition for ‘truthy’ dating back to the 1800s….’The fact that they looked it up in a book just shows that they don’t get the idea of truthiness at all,’ Stephen Colbert said Thursday. ‘You don’t look up truthiness in a book, you look it up in your gut.’”
“Though slight, the difference of Colbert’s definition and the OED’s is essential. It’s not your typical truth, but, as The New York Times wrote, ‘a summation of what [Colbert] sees as the guiding ethos of the loudest commentators on Fox News, MSNBC and CNN.’”
“Colbert, who referred on his program to the AP omission as a ‘journalistic travesty,’ said that it was similar to the much-criticized weapons of mass destruction reporting leading up to the Iraq War. ‘Except,’ he said, ‘people got hurt this time.’”
“On January 31, 2006, Arianna Huffington used truthiness on the Huffington Post. Huffington later appeared as a guest on the March 1, 2006, episode of The Colbert Report. She challenged Colbert on his claim that he had invented the word truthiness. During the interview, Colbert declared, “I’m not a truthiness fanatic; I’m truthiness’s father.” Huffington corrected him, citing Wikipedia, that he had merely “popularized” the term. Regarding her source, Colbert responded: “Fuck them.”
Colbert defines Truthiness in this video http://noolmusic.com/videos/colbert_report_-_truthiness_comedy_video.php.
Arianna Huffington is a respected author but no philologist. To answer this question, Marina is the woman for the job. I have requested Marina on The Colbert Report at Questions & Comments about Comedy Central Programming (http://www.comedycentral.com/help/questionsCC.jhtml). You are encouraged to do so also.Tweet